Whenever I try to say what matters,
what matters pulls back, slips out of
view. But it is there. I felt it in the
Jewish Cemetery in Prague, between
the wet leaf and the broken stone.
There, in the still breathing of the
painted mime in Barcelona. In the
jaw of Table Mountain overlooking
Cape Town. In the shadowy trees
lacing the face of Paris. There, in
our open mouths when we make
love. And in John’s last smile as he
stared out the window at something
we couldn’t see. I see it in the quiver
of my father at ninety, now that he
can’t hide. It waits in the center of
clouds and escapes as rain. I’ve tried
so hard to stay near it. When I think
I’ve touched it, it leaves. And I drift.
Until great loss or great wonder
sweeps me to my knees. When
I give up, it lifts my face.